Tuesday, January 29, 2008
So, poor Mary Kay lady found herself in a room of people who had no intention of buying her products. She quickly went through a pretty scattered presentation, which included the randomly interjected information that she had needed to move from her West Valley home because her son had died there and every time she went into the living room, she could picture him lying there, dead. Seriously. I bought one token bottle of eye makeup remover, and she gathered her stuff and headed to her car.
I'll need to insert a little back-story here. My mom teaches at Challenger Middle School and had a middle school social that night. She was in charge of setting up a laptop and projector to show "The Princess Bride." She had been having some serious difficulty in getting it to work, and she had called Lisa several times during the MK party. Finally, Lisa decided to just drive to the school to fix it, and she enlisted me in the effort.
So, Mary Kay lady and Michelle are both headed to their cars to leave while Lisa and I both hurried into her car and left. A few minutes later, Lisa's phone rang. It was Michelle, who informed us that the Mary Kay lady had left her keys in Lisa's apartment. Lisa let her know that we'd hurry as quickly as possible and be right back. We got to the school, worked our magic, and headed back to Lisa's. On the way back, Lisa's phone rang again. This time it was the Mary Kay lady wondering how close we were. Apparently, Michelle had just left her standing alone in the snow in the dark.
We got to Lisa's and checked inside the apartment for the keys. No luck. The Mary Kay lady informed us that she had slipped outside, so we looked in the snow for her keys. I shone my headlights on the area, but we still had no luck. Apparently, she and her husband have only one car, so she asked if we could possibly take her home to grab her extra set of keys. Lisa and I exchanged a worried look but agreed.
During the ride, I apologized that Michelle had left her stranded by herself. At this point, she let us know that she was really scared because she'd been raped at an apartment complex once. I felt bad for her, but it was just a little too much info from someone we didn't even know. We drove on again. She got a phone call, and then asked if it would be okay if her husband rode back with us to help her look for her keys. Again, Lisa and I exchanged a worried look but agreed.
At the Mary Kay lady's house, I had a quick second to express my concern to Lisa. Here we were in a car with a complete stranger and about to let her complete stranger husband in with us. I had her text Brett so if we went missing, at least someone would know about it. We let the lady and her husband in the car and drove back to the apartment in near silence.
I don't know how the story goes after that; Lisa and I went in to her apartment while the Mary Kay lady, I assume, drove home. I did get a phone call from her yesterday letting me know that my eye makeup remover would be free because of all my trouble. All in all, though, it was the weirdest Friday night of my life.
Friday, January 25, 2008
This is real; I checked it out at snopes.com, so take a minute, watch a video, and know that $.40 was donated thanks to you!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
On another note, I get to fly home tomorrow afternoon. I am so excited to come home and see my family. I will be home until March and then fly out again but this time it will be for three weeks and it will be in Kansas City, MO. That sucks in two ways. 1. I will be gone for three weeks (I can fly home on the weekend but it still sucks). 2. I will miss Alex's first birthday. I realize he will not remember but I will. I feel like such a bad parent. Now all I need to do is miss my aniversary and Andrea's birthday and I will be batting a thousand.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
On a side not. I forgot to mention this but as part of the training process yesterday I had to take the oath of a federal employee. This is the same oath that the President of the United States takes when being sworn into office.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Anyway I am in Phoenix and the weather is great. It is 60's and I am walking around without a jacket. My training does not start until 12:30 today so I have a little time. I am so excited to start but I want to know why I seem to get sick when I travel. My throat the past couple of days has started to hurt a little in the morning and my sinus is stuffed. Well lucky me I woke up with body aches, a small fever, sore throat, and stuffed sinuses. So I walked a couple of blocks to Walgreens and got some medicine. It is starting to kick in so I am feeling better. Anyway enough complaining. Until next blog.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Kirk, on the other hand, has to get a crown. I mention this only because he has been so proudly bragging of his lack of cavities at our last several visits. This blog is pretty much just my method of boasting my success over him.
I am also excited because my dentist seems to think a nightguard may significantly reduce the constant pain in my jaw. I have to wait until our new flex spending kicks in so I can afford the $300 contraption, but I am really excited to see if it can save me from having to spend thousands on jaw surgery.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Our Relief Society is doing this combined with another ward. Since I don't know the sisters in the other ward, I'm holding auditions this Saturday. I hope that a lot of women are interested in participating. I think it is going to be really fun. There is a lady who is going to be making costumes and everything. I know it is going to be a lot of work, but I really hope we will bring a strong spirit to the enrichment meeting in April.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I love that none of these are Mormon jokes! It's nice to see the state treated as separate from the religion!
- If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September to May, you live in Utah.
- If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Utah.
- If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Utah
- If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Utah.
- If 'vacation' means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the weekend, you live in Utah. GUILTY!
- If you measure distance in hours, you live in Utah. GUILTY!
- If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Utah.
- If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Utah. GUILTY!
- If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked, you live in Utah.
- If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Utah.
- If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Utah.
- If the speed limit on the highway is 75 mph -- you're going 80, and everyone is still passing you, you live in Utah. GUILTY! (of being the one doing the passing)
- If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Utah.
- If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Utah.
- If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly' you live in Utah. NOT GUILTY!
- If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your friends, you live in Utah.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
This year in Relief Society, we are doing a program called Celestial University, where sisters can work toward a "degree" by completing goals in several categories and by learning from other sisters. There are several colleges to choose from, each with a dean who is ready to help you. I was leaning heavily toward pyschology, applied arts, and social science but finally decided on language arts and sewing.
The program is pretty simple. An associates degree requires 6 goals toward your major and 3 theology goals. A bachelors takes 8 goals toward your major, 5 theology goals, and 3 goals in your minor or other colleges (kind of like taking generals, I guess). A masters degree takes 10 goals toward your major, 7 theology goals, and 5 generals, and for a doctorate you need 12 goals toward your major, 9 theology goals, and 7 generals.
I love setting and reaching small goals. Its like an addiction for me. So I've decided to go for the Doctorate in Language Arts. Some of my chosen goals Language Arts goals include:
- Find, define, and write down a new vocabulary word each day for one month.
- Attend a play.
- Write in your journal at least once a week for three months.
- Write a narrative, lyric or humorous song or poem.
- Read one classic American novel or a Newberry Award Winner
A few theology goals are:
- Read five articles from Ensign magazines. Pick two new or important ideas you've gained from these articles and discuss them with someone.
- Read the lessons from the manual for Relief Society ahead of time.
- Read a book about the gospel.
- Hold family prayer twice a day for one month.
And some fun generals are:
- Paint a room.
- Find three ways to save money and do it for a month.
- Buy one classical or light classical CD and play it.
- Decorate a cake.
- Sew an item for a child.
- Play racquetball twice in one month.
- Read an article a week for four weeks from a current news magazine; e.g. Time, US News, etc.
- Read a self improvement book; e.g. Woman's Divine Destiny of Self Eseem and LDS Woman
- Complete your weekly grocery shopping in one trip. Do not cheat and go to the store for extras you forgot or ran out of during that week.
If you can't tell, I'm really excited about this program. You can expect to see some blogs about goals I'm working on or have completed. Feel free to bug me about how I'm doing. I may need the help to stay motivated!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
For all these reasons, I find it difficult and somewhat hypocritical to be writing the post I am writing, because I am about to share my testimony of how paying tithing has truly benefited our family in this life. I think I finally understand that the stories I've heard were intended to be stories of gratitude to our Father in Heaven, not merely proof of the cause and effect nature of being a full tithe payer. So with newfound perspective, I send out a mass apology to the grateful members of the church whose stories I have simply misunderstood, and I add my own.
Last year, I very carefully paid our tithing each month at the beginning of the month. However, as August neared, I noticed that if I paid the tithing, there wouldn't be enough to cover our bills. I decided to pay the bills first and catch up on tithing the next month. The next month, not only did I not have enough to catch up, I found I did not have enough to pay September's tithing, either. This continued until I was a full four months behind. At my wit's end, I finally decided to use money from a savings account that was strictly not to be touched. I did not know what else to do, but I knew that our tithing must be paid.
Out of obedience to the laws our Heavenly Father has set, I paid the tithing in full, not knowing how I would replace the essential money in the savings account. I fully intended to suffer the consequences later, and I can't say that anything has changed. The money had been carefully set aside in case Kirk changed jobs and we would need to pay back the tuition reimbursement awarded him by ATK. We now stand in precisely that position, and the saved money has been used.
However, I have found that every time I go to pay a bill, we have sufficient funds in the account. I was recently inspired to organize our bills in a different manner and pay them according to a slightly altered schedule. This has resulted in a little more breathing room in our budget. Yesterday, the account manager of our debt management plan at Real Wealth Financial called to say he'd been reviewing our file and that he thinks he may be able to save us some money on our mortgage. I have also been inspired to start an after school show choir at the school where I teach which will provide us with some extra income. And yes, an unexpected check actually did come in the mail.
Alone, none of these events would seem extraordinary, but combined, I clearly see the Lord's hand in our financial affairs. He has seen our need, and because of our obedience He is guiding our decisions. I am humbled and grateful to be the recipient of the Lord's love and blessings, and I feel blessed to have received such a strong testimony of tithing.
Monday, January 14, 2008
The newest addition to his repertoire is blowing kisses. He just learned this trick yesterday, but he mastered it in a matter of moments. He puts his index finger inside his mouth, pulls it out, and then smacks his lips together. Throughout the process, his little face just beams with pride in his accomplishment. So far, the proud recipients of his little blown kisses include Mom and Dad, Adam, assorted extended family members, and one peanut butter sandwich.
Some moms, though, are 100% content to focus all their energy on their home and family. These moms amaze me! They are so focused. And of course, there are moms who work a full time job and have to fit in their mom duties during a few short hours of the day.
The amazing thing is that no matter what you choose, you can be a great mom. The only person who knows what is best for you and for your family situation is you. The only person who knows what makes you a happy mom so you can be an effective mom is you. So to all the moms out there who feel criticized for working to much or too little, ignore all the criticism. You are the wonderful mom that you are because you are you. Go Moms!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I'll definately get the opportunity, though. Skye will be living with us from February until he and Michelle get married on May 3rd in the Jordan River Temple. Then they'll be moving to Idaho to participate in the summer shows at the theater and so Skye can start work on his degree at Boise State. He plans to be an electrician.
Anyway, Kirk and I are really excited to be getting a brother-in-law, and we're particularly excited that Michelle chose Skye. I'll post engagement pics, etc. as everything gets a little closer.
I have, fortunately, been blessed with the ability to tune out any show I simply don't want to hear. This ability has been honed since I married Kirk and discovered his unquenchable thirst for background noise. Generally, this means I can make it through any given 24-hour period without being subjected to the sad stories of the day. However, I have this mental malfunction that causes me to read every word I see. It is a part of my brain that I can't turn off which causes me to read endless billboards, cereal boxes, and --sadly-- closed captioning. I simply cannot ignore the wall of tv's, each with those stupid little words scrolling across the bottom of its screen, at which every treadmill and cycle machine at the gym is mercilessly pointed. So I read.
This morning alone, the reports included details of a woman shot to death by her husband in a church parking lot, the death of 7 and injury of about 50 in a bus accident, and the death of a 24 year old BYU student because she was hit by a car. I wish I could say I read about each of these once, but unfortunately my disease forced me to reread the details as each separate news station recapped each disaster. Interspersed between each was speculation over whether Hilary Clinton's tears at last night's debate were real or fake. Like I care.
At 5:30 this morning, my day started with stories of tragedy. Does anyone actually enjoy starting their day this way? In an effort to add a little balance to my mental scale, I'm asking you each to post something good that happened to you yesterday. (I know you'll all read these at different times, but please choose the literal yesterday in relation to your literal today.) I'm just in the mood to hear some happiness.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
If you want to be sure I'm actually getting your emails, try me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for updating your records!